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2016-17 NBA Regular Season  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Fri Dec 23rd, 2016 05:17 am
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lobo316
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After starting for a Finals team during his rookie campaign, Courtney Lee quickly saw his life turn upside down, as he was traded to the then-New Jersey Nets just a week later.

While his role was expanded, Lee struggled to adapt to life on a losing team, having little impact on a Nets squad that won just 12 games all season.

"(It was) tough. I went from sugar to shit, man," he told Leo Sepkowitz of slamonline.com. "Cream of the crop to the bottom. Going to the NBA Finals to 12-70. Fans wasn't showing up, and when they did show up, they had paper bags on they face like, 'We're horrible.'"

Five teams later, Lee finally appears to have found a home, inking a four-year, $50-million deal with the New York Knicks this summer.

He's found success as the team's starting shooting guard, and the Knicks have quickly gone from lottery team to playoff hopeful, sitting fifth in the Eastern Conference with a 15-13 record.

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 Posted: Fri Dec 23rd, 2016 06:37 pm
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lobo316
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Carmelo Anthony went high after George Karl went low.

In an excerpt released from his upcoming book, "Furious George," Karl ripped Anthony for everything from not applying himself on defense to attacking his leadership, and, most egregiously, for not having a "father to show (him) how to act like a man."

Anthony offered no comment when pressed about Karl's attacks before Thursday's game, and showed tremendous class when pressed again after.

"I just hope he finds happiness in whatever he's doing," he told ESPN's Ian Begley.

Anthony's teammates did most of the speaking on his behalf. J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, Wilson Chandler, and Reggie Evans have all denounced Karl's accounts since the excerpts emerged.

Thursday goes down as just the latest episode in a long string of discontent from Karl's former players. No less than five players - with the most recent example being DeMarcus Cousins - have called Karl a "snake in the grass" for the way he undercuts players.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 24th, 2016 02:15 am
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lobo316
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The Cleveland Cavaliers could be without shooting guard J.R. Smith for nearly all of what's left of the regular season.

Smith underwent surgery to repair his fractured right thumb Friday, and is expected to miss the next 12-14 weeks, the team announced.

Before suffering the injury during the Cavs' win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday, Smith had been slumping badly in the first season of his new four-year, $57-million deal with Cleveland. He's averaged 8.6 points and 1.2 assists, while shooting a career-low 33.7 percent from the field with a career-worst 8.0 PER.

For all his struggles, though, his 3-point shooting has remained a valuable weapon for the Cavs, and they've still been better with him on the floor than on the bench. Without him, their wing rotation looks dangerously thin, with Iman Shumpert, Mike Dunleavy, and DeAndre Liggins left to patch up the hole.

Should Smith's recovery take the full 14 weeks, he'll be back sometime at the end of March or beginning of April, about two weeks before the start of the playoffs.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 24th, 2016 02:15 am
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The Detroit Pistons are set to honor one of the franchises' most beloved and iconic players just after the All-Star break this season.

In a halftime ceremony during their Feb. 26 game against the Boston Celtics, the Pistons will raise Richard Hamilton's No. 32 jersey to the rafters at the Palace of Auburn Hills, the team announced Friday.

The trade that brought Hamilton to Detroit from Washington in 2002 kicked off one of the most successful runs for any franchise in any decade. Over the next six years, the Pistons won between 50 and 63 games and made the Eastern Conference finals each season. They made the NBA Finals twice, and won the whole shebang in 2004.

Hamilton played in all but 29 games during that stretch.

Though the team's well had run dry by the end of his nine-year tenure, Hamilton continued to produce, ultimately cementing himself as a top-two shooting guard in franchise history. For 631 games, he worked his darting, off-screen, catch-and-shoot, mid-range magic, in his trademark facemask, averaging 18.4 points and 3.8 assists with a .455/.354/.852 shooting line. He made three All-Star teams and finished sixth all-time in Pistons scoring.

He was arguably even better in the playoffs, where he played a franchise-record 120 games and averaged 20.6 points in 40 minutes a game.

"Detroit is where I celebrated the greatest achievements in my pro basketball career and to be recognized by the organization in this way, I'm honored," Hamilton wrote on Instagram. "I look forward to sharing this experience with all the fans who supported me throughout my years as a Piston and look forward to celebrating in The Palace one final time. Yessirrr."

Yessir.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 24th, 2016 02:16 am
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lobo316
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Dirk Nowitzki will be a sight for the Dallas Mavericks' sore eyes Friday night, as he suits up for the first time in 14 games and just the sixth time all season.

Nowitzki, who has been dealing with an Achilles strain since opening night, told reporters he went through a successful workout Thursday and will return on a minutes limit as the Mavs visit the Los Angeles Clippers, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News.

"The Achilles responded really well to all the stuff we did," Nowitzki said. "But nothing is like replicating the games. We'll ease into it and play some spot minutes here and there and increase the workload as we go along. But I'm really happy. It hasn't been great for a long, long time. Hopefully we're over the worst and not looking back from here."

The 38-year-old is hoping his return to game action lasts longer than his last one did. Nowitzki came back prematurely in late November, and played just two games before having to shut it back down.

"I'm excited to be back and hopefully stay back this time," he said. "I don't want to keep being in and out of the lineup all season."

Thanks to the nagging injury, Nowitzki has yet to find any kind of rhythm on the court, averaging 12.2 points and 6.4 rebounds while shooting 35.8 percent from the field and 27.3 percent from 3-point range. The Mavs have yet to win a game he's played in.

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 Posted: Sat Dec 24th, 2016 08:43 am
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lobo316
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For the second time in his career, Russell Westbrook has scored more than 40 points in three straight games. Westbrook's 45 Friday against the Boston Celtics led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-112 victory, and he also recorded his second triple-double in four contests.
Westbrook is now only one triple-double behind Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most career 40-point triple-doubles all time, according to Elias and ESPN. He last scored 40 in three straight in March 2015.
The Thunder have won three of their last four games, with Westbrook's poor shot selection - despite a 46-point outing - helping cost the loss to the Atlanta Hawks. On Friday in Boston, he had one of his best nights of the season from beyond the arc, hitting 5-of-8 treys - including the dagger with under a minute left.

Last edited on Sat Dec 24th, 2016 08:45 am by lobo316

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 Posted: Sat Dec 24th, 2016 08:46 am
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With so much NBA season left to play, Giannis Antetokounmpo collecting a new career high in points Friday night against the Washington Wizards might just be the beginning.

The Milwaukee Bucks' Greek Freak stood at the line in the fourth quarter to 'MVP' chants from the crowd, and left the game to a standing ovation at home after finishing with 39 points, eight rebounds, and six assists.

The M-V-P chants have begun for @Giannis_An34!!#OwnTheFuture

— Milwaukee Bucks (@Bucks) December 24, 2016
Antetokounmpo bested his previous career high of 34, which he's done twice, most recently against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Nov. 29.

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 Posted: Mon Dec 26th, 2016 05:01 am
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lobo316
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for winking ????????????




Richard Jefferson, at the ripe age of 36, shocked the world by dunking all over Kevin Durant, then topped it off with a hard stare and a wink.

But because the officials hate fun, Jefferson was assessed a tech for taunting on the play.

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 Posted: Tue Dec 27th, 2016 06:17 am
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lobo316
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If you thought the sport of basketball - by nature of its reduced reliance on sheer muscle power compared to its cousins in football and baseball - was immune to steroid accusations, then you've never read a book by George Karl.

In the longtime NBA head coach's new tome, "Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection," he asserts that the league has a problem with performance-enhancing drugs.

"(The NBA has a more) thorough drug-testing program than the NFL or MLB, which we always brag about," Karl writes in the book, as transcribed by PBT's Dan Feldman. "But we've still got a drug issue, though a different one than thirty years ago.

"And this one bothers me more than the dumbasses who got in trouble with recreational drugs. I'm talking about performance-enhancing drugs - like steroids, human growth hormone, and so on. It’s obvious some of our players are doping. How are some guys getting older - yet thinner and fitter? How are they recovering from injuries so fast?"

Karl has already raised the ire of some of his former players with other passages from the book, including the suggestion that Carmelo Anthony and Kenyon Martin couldn't act like men because they grew up in fatherless households.

He adds that he finds it mysterious that modern-day players travel to Europe during the summer.

"Why the hell are they going to Germany in the offseason? I doubt it’s for the sauerkraut," he writes, without citing a specific player. "More likely it's for the newest, hard-to-detect blood boosters and PEDs they have in Europe. Unfortunately, drug testing always seems to be a couple steps behind drug hiding. Lance Armstrong never failed a drug test. I think we want the best athletes to succeed, not the biggest, richest cheaters employing the best scientists."

The idea that wealthy athletes seek out high-tech treatments that may push the boundaries of the rules certainly isn't a new theory, but it does allow Karl to continue his burning of bridges. He was fired by the Sacramento Kings last spring after butting heads with another star player in DeMarcus Cousins.

The 64-year-old Karl remains in fifth place all time with 1,175 NBA head coaching victories, 35 wins behind Pat Riley.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2016 07:43 am
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lobo316
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Another game, another triple-double for Russell Westbrook.

For the umpteenth time this season, the All-NBA point guard completely demolished his opponent's defense, finishing with 29 points, 17 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 106-94 win over the Miami Heat on Tuesday. Westbrook collected his triple-double in just under 24 minutes of action, the sixth time he's accomplished the feat in just three quarters.

With his 15th triple-double of 2016-17, the Thunder point guard is now on pace to finish with 38 by season's end. Boston Celtics great Bob Cousy ranks ninth all-time with 33 triple-doubles for his entire career.

Most importantly, Westbrook's terrific individual play ended in an Oklahoma City win - something that has quickly become a trend for the Thunder this season.

Westbrook sits sixth all-time with 52 triple-doubles - 30 more than the Heat have accumulated in their entire franchise's history.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2016 07:46 am
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lobo316
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The last-two-minute report from the Golden State Warriors' Christmas Day loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers absolved Kevin Durant to some degree, conceding that he hadn't fallen of his own volition on the game-ending play and should've drawn a foul call.

Durant, however, isn't much interested in absolution, and instead of railing against the blown call, he stuck up for the league's referees in the face of the reports that often damn them.

"The refs didn't lose us the game. We lost that game," he told reporters Tuesday. "I think it's bull---- the NBA throws the refs under the bus like that."

The reports have been the subject of some controversy from players, coaches, and officials alike, and Durant - citing hypocrisy and cherry-picking - made it clear he'd prefer the league did away with them.

"You can't fine us for when we go out there and criticize them and then throw them under the bus for the two-minute report," he said. "What about the first quarter, second quarter, third quarter? I think it's bull---. They should get rid of them. Refs don't deserve that."

Safe to assume Durant won't be calling the referee-complaint hotline any time soon.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2016 05:59 pm
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lobo316
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Phil Jackson is officially a single man in New York City.

After 17 years together, Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers part-owner Jeanie Buss have decided to end their engagement together.

"With mutual love and respect, we have decided to end our engagement," Jackson said in a statement on Twitter. "With the nature of our professional obligations and the geographic distance between us, sustaining the relationship has been difficult. We have shared many wonderful moments though the years, and we expect to remain supportive of each other in the future."

Jeanie is the daughter of the late Jerry Buss who brought Jackson to Los Angeles back in 1999.

After spending years in Los Angeles as the Lakers head coach, Jackson moved across the country in 2014 after accepting a job as the New York Knicks' president.

It appears the couple have ended their engagement on good terms:

Nothing but love and respect for this man. @PhilJackson11 https://t.co/jlgNhnZvOA

— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) December 28, 2016
The love of my life is the Los Angeles Lakers. I love Phil & will always. It's not fair to him or Lakers to not have my undivided attention

— Jeanie Buss (@JeanieBuss) December 28, 2016

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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2016 06:00 pm
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lobo316
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Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins laid out his All-Star case with the simplest argument possible.

Cousins has already declared himself the league's most dominant big man, but the All-NBA center took things one step further by saying he'd be the best even with the handicap of rocking some sandals.

Hey @NBA_Reddit, @boogiecousins has a message for you. #NBAVote pic.twitter.com/EgjVsPZceD

— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) December 27, 2016
Cousins has averaged 34.2 points per game over his last five contests, so who would doubt him?

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 Posted: Wed Dec 28th, 2016 09:06 pm
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I think Cousins has 1 year after this on his contract with the Kings. Guess which team can change first round draft picks with the Kings the year after Cousins most likely leaves?

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 Posted: Thu Dec 29th, 2016 04:42 am
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lobo316
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Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid is never short on confidence, and when taking into account his sensational numbers as the clear favorite to capture 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year honors, it's easy to understand why he holds himself in such high regard.

Following the Sacramento Kings' narrow 102-100 victory over Philly on Monday night, All-Star DeMarcus Cousins was complementary of Embiid's performance, saying how he's well on his way to being the best big man in the Association ... only after Boogie retires, though.

Well, Embiid doesn't feel he needs to wait that long to knock Cousins off his self-assigned pedestal.

"I don't think I'm going to have to wait until he retires to be the best in the league," Embiid said following Wednesday's practice at Vivint Smart Home Arena, according to Philly.com's Keith Pompey.

Embiid was the Sixers' most productive player on Monday, scoring 25 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and blocking two shots on 47.1 percent shooting in just 28 minutes of action. As efficient as he was, Cousins was simply that much better, ending with a line of 30 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals, two blocks, and two makes from behind the arc.

The two powerhouses even engaged in an impromptu butt-slapping competition in the middle of play, going back and forth multiple times in what was merely a friendly interaction.

"I didn't understand the (turnover) call, and I was just laughing," Embiid said. "He just slapped my butt. I was just like 'Why is he slapping my butt?' I went back at him - not to look like a punk, just to show him I ain't going for that.

"It's all fun. Basketball is about having fun."

Embiid currently averages more than double the points per game of the second-leading scorer among rookie players (Dario Saric, 9.2) at 18.7. He also leads rookies in rebounds (7.4), blocks (2.38), and double-doubles (six).

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